• Jury picked for trial of man charged with murdering wife, friend in Murabella

    By: Bridgette Matter , Action News Jax


    WATCH LIVE: James Colley murder trial 

    The Killings:

    James Colley is accused of killing his estranged wife Amanda Cloaninger Colley and her friend Lindy Dobbins in 2015.

    The double slaying happened in a home in the Murabella subdivision near World Golf Village. 

    On the day of the shooting, Colley was in court, fighting an injunction order sought by his wife that claimed he was violent.

    Chilling evidence previously released includes a voicemail message Colley left his wife before the attacks at 8:34 a.m. on Aug. 27 before going into that court hearing.

    Colley: “Very funny you don't want to talk yet. You know, we don't need to talk. Don't do nothing to me, I won't do nothing to you. I won't bring this up in court about what you really are. And we both know what you really are.”

    Just after that Aug. 27 phone call, Colley was in a St. Johns County court, fighting an injunction order in his divorce case and claims that he was violent and had burned his wife’s clothes in the yard.

    After the salyings, Colley went on the run and was captured hours later in Virginia. 

    Two other people were at the home where the slayings took place:

    Rachel Hendricks and Lamar Douberly survived the gunfire.

    The two told police Colley emerged from the rear of the house and began shooting.

    The witnesses said Colley, armed with a handgun, gained entry into the home while Dobbins and Hendricks hid in a closet. The statement said that Colley entered the closet and shot Dobbins.

    Hendricks was able to escape the closet; she ran from the scene and called 911.

    Douberly also called 911 after escaping through the garage door. 

    The statement said that Amanda Colley hid in a bathroom while the other two women hid in an interior closet.

    Hendricks said she blocked the closet door with her body so that James Colley could not get inside the closet; the statement said that James Colley yelled “Where is he?” — indicating that he was looking for Douberly.

    A jury has been seated:

    On Wednesday, a jury of eight men and six women was selected.

    James Colley told the judge Wednesday he was “happy” with the jury that was selected.

    The upcoming trial:

    Colley faces the death penalty if convicted.

    The jury will hear an unusual defense.

    Colley’s legal team expects to use the rare defense of “involuntary intoxication”, and claim Colley was under the influence of Ambien when he allegedly killed his wife and Dobbins.

    Opening statements are set to begin in one of St. Johns counties highest profile murder cases Thursday at 9 a.m.​

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